Feb 14 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he will fight efforts by leading Democrat Senators to give terror suspects expanded access to federal courts. Graham played a leading role last year in the drafting and eventual passage into law of the Military Commissions Act (MCA), which establishes the rules and procedures to try enemy combatant terror suspects before military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Federal judges are allowed to conduct limited reviews of certain legal issues involving enemy combatants, but they would not be able to take over the military decision of determining who is and who is not an enemy combatant. "It's time we put terror suspects on trial before military tribunals for their crimes against the United States," said Graham. "If we begin tinkering with provisions of the MCA, it will slow efforts to bring terrorists to justice. "Some of the masterminds of the 9/11 attack on America are being held at Guantanamo Bay," said Graham. "I'm ready to see them stand trial and suffer the consequences of their actions against the United States. It's time for justice to be served, not delayed." Under legislation, Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, introduced by Democrat Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), enemy combatant terror suspects would have expanded rights to file habeas corpus petitions in federal court challenging their detention. It would also fundamentally weaken the rules governing military tribunals. "Never in the history of warfare have enemy prisoners been able to bring lawsuits about their detention," said Graham. "Thousands of Germans and Japanese soldiers were captured and held by the military during World War II. Not one case was allowed in federal court where they were allowed to sue for their release. Our rules for the War on Terror should be no different. "I will vigorously oppose any effort to allow federal judges to determine enemy combatant status," said Graham. "This decision belongs with the military. Judges are not trained to determine who presents a threat to our nation. That is why Congress has only provided for a limited procedural review of combatant status determination. "Before the MCA was signed into law, enemy combatants were filing frivolous suits requesting better mail delivery, more exercise, judge-supervised interrogation, Internet access, the right to view DVDs and alleging medical malpractice," said Graham. "We also made it clear in the MCA terror suspects could not sue American troops for doing their job. "The MCA protects our troops and national security while living up to our international commitments and obligations," concluded Graham. #####

Feb 13 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As a new record annual trade deficit was announced Tuesday, three U.S. Senators said they are introducing legislation to rescind Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status granted to China in 2000.  The three federal lawmakers are U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). In 2001, Congress granted China Permanent Normal Trade Relations status.  Prior to enacting this law, China was subject to an annual review of their Most Favored Nation trade status.  This allowed for the U.S. to ensure that China complied with its international commitments.  The legislation introduced today would revoke China's Permanent Normal Trade Relations status and return to a system where the U.S. government would annually review whether or not to grant China Most Favored Nation status. The change would give the U.S. leverage in convincing China to trade fairly. "Since 2001, the first year China operated with PNTR status, our trade deficit with China ballooned from $83 billion a year to well over $232.5 billion in 2006," Senator Byron Dorgan said. "It's not difficult to see why. China has engaged in systematic labor abuses, intellectual property theft and piracy, currency manipulation and unfair barriers against U.S. exports. If  PNTR status means a country is playing by the rules in international trade, it is absurd to continue to apply that status to China. Congress can - and must - send a clear message that China needs to stop cheating and start trading fairly. Rescinding its PNTR status sends that message." "The Chinese continue to manipulate their currency to give themselves an unfair advantage over American manufacturers," said Senator Lindsey Graham.  "Revoking China's PNTR status is a necessary step given their reluctance to embrace the principles of free and fair trade.  It's time to replace our current open-ended commitment to China with a system that provides an annual review and allows for decisions to be based on actual Chinese performance.  Without the ability to annually review Chinese trade practices, it will continue to be difficult to persuade China to make the necessary changes to provide a level playing field for American manufacturers." "U.S. trade policy has failed workers and small businesses across our country," Senator Sherrod Brown said. "As far as I am concerned, there is nothing normal about allowing our trading partners to use slave labor to compete with our workers.  There is nothing normal about manipulating currency to make exports cheaper.  There is nothing normal about mouthing concern for intellectual property in the midst of rampant piracy.  And if this is indeed normal, then I certainly don't want it to be permanent." ####

Feb 13 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passing of Congressman Charlie Norwood. "Now is the time to celebrate a life well-lived and to keep his family in our prayers. "The State of Georgia today lost one of her favorite sons. "Charlie was a dear friend and I have never met anyone in politics with more passion about what they believe. He was a great representative for the people of the 10th District of Georgia. In his years of service, he made a difference in the Congress. His leadership, wisdom, and wit will be sorely missed." ####

Feb 07 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $225,000 in grants to fire departments in Anderson, Bennettsville, Newberry, and Orangeburg. 
 
“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians ,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”
 
South Carolina 's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants,” said Senator DeMint.
 
The grants were awarded for Operations and Firefighter Safety Programs.  Fire departments may use these funds for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
 
The grants awarded include:
 
Anderson
 
Flatrock Bowen Fire Department will receive $18,620.
 
Bennettsville
 
Marlboro County Rescue Squad will receive $40,320.
 
Newberry
 
Newberry Fire Department will receive $70,348.
 
Orangeburg
 
Jamison Fire Department will receive $97,587.
 
The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel.   
 
Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.
 
The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
 
####
 

Feb 01 2007

WASHINGTON-  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) joined Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Joe Lieberman (I/D-Connecticut) in authoring a Senate resolution supporting General Petraeus’s new strategy for victory in Iraq and laying out benchmarks for Iraqi political leaders.  The Senators will introduce the resolution in the coming days. 

Graham made the following statement:

“These could be the most consequential nonbinding resolutions in the history of the Senate.  I believe General Petraeus’s new strategy of sending more troops and economic aid, and improving the political climate in Iraq is our best chance for success.  This resolution will send a clear message to General Petraeus and the men and women under his command charged with implementing this strategy that we believe in their mission and will give them the support they need.

“A nonbinding resolution stating that the war is lost is the worst of all worlds.  It is a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, will empower our enemies, and be demoralizing to our own troops.  If you don’t have the political courage to keep our troops at home, then cheer them on.  If the United States Senate passes a resolution that is essentially a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, we will wake up the next morning to headlines in the Middle East that say, ‘Congress Disapproves of War, Baghdad is Lost.’

“This new strategy is our best chance for victory.  It makes up for past mistakes, allows breathing room for the Iraqis to begin political reconciliation, provides economic aid to counter high unemployment, and provides enough troops to clear, hold, and build.

“If we lose in Iraq or withdraw our troops, we will be back in a bigger war down the road.  The bloodbath will spill into the region, and Sunni and Shiite nations will feel compelled to get involved.  A failed state in Iraq is a disaster for our long term national security interests.

“We’re in a global struggle between extremists and moderates and we can not afford to lose.  The United States and our allies are committed to bringing out the best in the Iraqi people; Al-Qaeda stokes fear and prejudice to bring out the worst.  Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds can live together in peace.  We must help the Iraqi people seize the moment, so the forces of moderation will win over the forces of terror.”

####

 

 

Feb 01 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced nearly $600,000 in grants to fire departments in Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Edgefield, Heath Springs, Landrum, North Myrtle Beach, Richburg, and Taylors .

 

 

“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians ,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”

 

 

South Carolina 's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants,” said Senator DeMint.

 

 

The grants were awarded for Operations and Firefighter Safety Programs.  Fire departments may use these funds for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

 

The grants awarded include:

 

Chesterfield

 

Teal’s Mill Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive $10,260.

 

Darlington

 

Palmetto Rural Fire Department will receive $64,599.

 

 

Dillon

 

Floyd Dale Rescue and Fire Department will receive $55,908.

 

 

Edgefield

 

Westside Volunteer Fire Department will receive $34,200.

 

 

Heath Springs

 

Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Department will receive $39,900.

 

 

Landrum

 

Landrum Fire Department will receive $130,245.

 

 

North Myrtle Beach

 

City of North Myrtle Beach will receive $89,679.

 

 

Richburg

 

Richburg Fire Department will receive $32,490.

 

 

Taylors

 

Taylors Fire Department will receive $138,824.

 

The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel.   

 

Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.

 

 

The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

 

####

Jan 25 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced more than $195,000 in grants to fire departments in Greenville and Rock Hill .

 

 

“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians ,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”

 

 

South Carolina 's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants,” said Senator DeMint.

 

 

The grants were awarded for Operations and Firefighter Safety Programs.  Fire departments may use these funds for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

 

The grants awarded include:

 

Greenville

 

South Greenville Fire Department will receive $78,849.

 

Rock Hill

 

Rock Hill Fire Department will receive $116,313.

 

The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel.   

 

Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.

The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

 

####

 

Jan 24 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) continued his push for energy independence and innovation by reintroducing legislation in the U.S. Senate yesterday creating the H-Prize. The H-Prize is meant to help overcome the technical challenges related to using hydrogen as a widely available and abundant fuel source by offering cash incentives. Graham introduced similar legislation in the last Congress. “As a nation, we need to become less dependent on foreign oil,” said Graham. “Last night, President Bush called on the nation to reduce gasoline usage by twenty percent over the next ten years. I completely support his call for energy independence, and the H-Prize can help lead the move away from fossil fuels and toward alternative sources of energy such as hydrogen.” Graham serves as the co-chair of the Senate Hydrogen Caucus, along with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota). Dorgan has signed on as the lead Democratic sponsor of the H-Prize legislation in the Senate. The bill was introduced in the House of Representative by Congressmen Bob Inglis (R-South Carolina) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois). Graham noted South Carolina is a national leader in hydrogen research. The University of South Carolina is developing hydrogen fuel cells, Clemson is working on hydrogen vehicles, Aiken County has established a Hydrogen Research Center, and the Savannah River Site is a leading research facility in hydrogen storage and technology. These groups and others recently united behind the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association which coordinates the state’s efforts to be a leading player in the emerging hydrogen economy. The H-Prize is modeled on the Ansari X Prize which spurred the first privately funded suborbital human spaceflight. Awards will be offered in the following categories:
  • Technological Advancement: Four prizes of up to $1 million will be awarded every two years for outstanding achievements in the Production, Storage, Distribution, and Utilization of hydrogen.
  • Prototypes: One prize of up to $4 million will be awarded every two years for working hydrogen vehicle prototypes that meets performance goals.
  • Transformational Technology: Over the next ten years, a single $10 million prize funded by the federal government or private donations for breakthrough hydrogen technologies.
The legislation directs the Secretary of Energy to contract with a private foundation or other non-profit entity to establish criteria for the prizes and administer the prize contest. “In 50 years, if we’re still reliant on Middle Eastern oil to drive our national economy, we will have done a great disservice to future generations. I appreciate Congressman Inglis’s leadership in the House, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance our nation’s energy independence. The H-Prize will help foster additional research and development in the long-overdue effort to make hydrogen a significant source of our nation’s energy supply.” #####

Jan 23 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tonight made the following statement on the State of the Union Address delivered by President Bush. On Iraq and the War on Terror “I completely agree with President Bush that the outcome in Iraq is part of the overall War on Terror. We’re in a global struggle between extremists and moderates and we can not afford to lose. Success in Iraq with a functioning democratic government will empower moderates throughout the Mideast. Failure in Iraq will lead to regional chaos. “A failed state in Iraq would empower Iran, as they could install a puppet government in southern Iraq; it would create tension between Turkey and the Kurdish north; and sectarian violence in Baghdad, if unchecked, could result in a bloodbath where Sunni and Shiite nations feel compelled to get involved. “I believe General Petraeus’s new strategy of sending more troops and more economic aid, and improving the political climate in Iraq is our best chance for success, and I support his new effort. To my colleagues who believe Iraq is a lost cause, I urge you to have the courage of your convictions and vote to stop sending more troops into Iraq by cutting off funding. “A resolution declaring the new strategy a failure before it is implemented is the worst of all worlds. It is a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, will empower our enemies, and be demoralizing to our own troops.” On Increasing the Size of the Army and Marine Corps “I enthusiastically support President Bush’s decision to grow the Army and Marine Corps. A larger military would provide us with additional combat capability in Iraq and Afghanistan and allow us to deal with other threats looming on the horizon. We need additional combat capability and in war, there is no substitute for boots on the ground.” On Energy Independence “I completely support President Bush’s call to reduce gasoline usage by twenty percent over the next ten years. The sooner we get away from Mideast oil, the better for our nation and the world. “I strongly support more nuclear power, hydrogen and ethanol for automobiles, and other alternative energy sources that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East. The President’s energy independence plan should be embraced in a bipartisan fashion. “South Carolina is leading the way in terms of nuclear power production and the development of alternative fuel sources like hydrogen, and we stand to be a big winner as the President’s plan is implemented.” ####

Jan 22 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced his support for a line-item veto. The line-item veto amendment introduced by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is expected to be voted on this week. Graham is a cosponsor of the legislation. The amendment would allow the President to submit a list of spending items he wants to remove from a bill Congress has passed. Congress would then vote on rescinding these items. “The line-item veto is an important tool for a President to have in eliminating wasteful spending items from the federal budget,” said Graham. “There’s no doubt we need to bring more accountability and transparency to the way we spend taxpayer dollars. The line-item veto is another option to help us achieve those objectives. The Senate should pass this amendment.” #####